We were on our way to Hakkasan Mayfair when Adam pointed the Square out to me, a little later he showed me the menu’s online. I’d got the hint, he wanted to go there. I had a look at the sample menu’s and there were several things that caught my eye not just on the vegetarian menu. The problem I have with many restaurants is choice, I like lots of choice as there’s lots of things I don’t like to eat so the more choice I have the more chance that I’ll find one or two things I like.
It was early January and we arrived ahead of our 6:30 booking, Adam had an espresso martini and he ordered me a glass of Pinot Gris, which was quite complex with a lovely depth. We were shown to our table and as we settled in and looked up we realised the staff outnumbered us by three to one. As they had no one else to attend to you felt like you were always being watched, you couldn’t fault there attentiveness but it did feel at times that you had a dozen eyes watching you.
As Adam had told them I was a vegetarian who ate some cooked fish and shellfish they bought out slightly different amuse bouche for us. He had a wafer thin foie gras cornetto cone, I had a delicate parmesan and truffle tart. Some canapés followed, a squid ink “prawn” cracker with taramasalata and prawn powder, and a very thin cep cracker with truffle cream. There was also a choux bun canapé for Adam which had a venison filling, mine was a sliced artichoke canapé which was delicious. A choice of fresh bread was served with both salted and unsalted butter, I only mention this as some restaurants seem to have stopped offering it, perhaps they see the serving of bread as old fashioned and too simple but it’s something I enjoy to start a meal regardless of the canapés or appetisers. As we had both ordered fish for our starters and mains, Adam suggested staying with the Pinot Gris, I think he was quietly pleased when the sommelier agreed it was a good choice with what we had ordered. Unbeknown to us, the langoustine tail with parmesan gnocchi and mushroom emulsion was a signature dish of the restaurant and it was incredible. I don’t usually like gnocchi but this was so light and the wonderfully sweet langoustine were cooked to perfection and not overpowered by the sauce or emulsion. I opted to have another starter instead of a main, the crab lasagne with a shellfish and champagne foam which we discovered has been on the menu pretty much since the restaurant opened in the 90’s. It was exquisite not only in taste but appearance. The pasta was wafer thin and the foam just melted in your mouth. Adam went for sea bass with lovage spätzle, smoked eel, charred onion and red wine. Again superbly presented, the lovage spätzle were delicate and vivid, the sea bass skin was crispy with precisely spaced incisions and both the sea bass and eel perfectly cooked.
We ordered a tiramisu to share as we were both getting a little full but before it arrived they bought us each a pre dessert, very nice of them but I would have preferred a cheese board as desserts are not really my thing but they didn’t know that. Guess Adam will have to add it to my ‘pesky’ list. Any way, Adam being Adam – he hoovered up!! The little I did have of it was very light and full of texture, it was a wonderful palate cleanser and to be honest I preferred it to the tiramisu. Nothing wrong with the tiramisu, just my personal preference. Adam however loved the tiramisu as he devoured it despite protesting he was full!! Having asked for the bill, a beautiful wooden box with the restaurant named carved into the lid appeared in front of each of us. Inside were the most delicate chocolates and Adam despite several claims that he couldn’t eat another thing, polished these off as well.
We’d like to return on a busier night to fully comment on the service and atmosphere as we both think our opinion would be different to what we experienced this time. for both of us it was too quiet, you felt like you had to whisper or you would be overheard. However, the food was beyond faultless and exceeded expectations, more than worthy of all its accolades and Michelin stars.
Beverley & Adam xx